8. Ralph Ellison
“Whom the gods wish to destroy,” the critic Cyril Connolly said, “they first call promising.” In 1952, Ralph Ellison published his debut novel, Invisible Man, a modernist, integrationist masterpiece. He then worked on what was supposed to be his “symphonic” second novel until his death, in 1994. He never published a word of it, though he left behind more than 2,000 pages of manuscripts and notes, released posthumously, in 1999, as Juneteenth, a whittled down 400-pager, and in 2010 as the 1136-page-strong Three Days Before the Shooting.